– If you want to watch this week’s show, you can do so here.
– We’re almost done with our retro Best and Worst recap of NXT season 2. Husky Harris just turned into Bray Wyatt (kinda), Low Ki is in a romance angle with Layla (kinda) and Michael McGillicutty is only two weeks away from his promo about swimming pools and breastfeeding.
– I’m trying out posting the column on Thursday nights, so if you like that, give the column a share. 100% of my life decisions are based on arbitrary web traffic now, so help a brother out.
Please click through for the Best and Worst of WWE NXT for June 19, 2014.
Worst: So I Guess Natalya’s Just Fantasy Booking The Shows Now
This week’s NXT starts with exclusive~ backstage footage from Raw, wherein Natalya pulls JBL aside and pitches him her new character, “guy on the Internet who doesn’t understand wrestling but has some great ideas about improving the product.” You know at least 10 guys like this. If you don’t, you’re the guy. And you still know 9 other guys like this.
JBL stands there like Ernest P. Worrell listening to somebody smart speak as Natalya is all, “Tyson Kidd lost a match to Sami Zayn, but you just AREN’T USING HIM RIGHT, maybe you should give him a PUSH by having him and Sami form a TAG TEAM! And they get a tag team titles shot for no reason because they’re big stars. But they secretly don’t like each other! It’ll revitalize the tag team division! Here’s further thoughts on why you should have a cruiserweight show!” Well, she said most of that. JBL barely knows NXT exists and has zero plans for it — he thought signing a guy named “Mr. NXT” was an on-the-level business idea, after all — so he’s like “sure, whatever, tag team match” and then wanders off somewhere to fire Teddy Long.
This should be Natalya’s character going forward. Renee asks her what she thinks about the upcoming Divas title match and Nattie just rambles for 10 minutes about how Brock Lesnar was a stupid choice to end the Undertaker’s streak. Then it’s three segments of Neckbeard Nattie breathlessly comparing and contrasting hypothetical singles futures for The Shield.
Worst: I Like Sasha Banks And Alexa Bliss, But This Wasn’t About Them
1. Alexa Bliss is … not ready. The NXT Women’s Division is so goddamn good most of the time that we forget this is developmental, and that these woman are still learning and honing their craft before they get shot up to Raw to put pink snake puppets on their arms or whatever. Paige, Emma, Bayley, Sasha, the NXT version of Summer and now Charlotte have all popped off the screen for one reason or another and made us go OH MAN, REPLACE THAT DIVAS WITH THIS DIVAS IMMEDIATELY.
Alexa’s got a lot going for her. She’s got great energy, she’s got a great look and I still spend at least 15 minutes after every match she has singing I’mma wearin’ all m’bling bling! M’bling bling! She’ll be fine. Right now, though, she’s clumsy and doing things she doesn’t understand the reasons for and visibly just doing bump drills on a televised wrestling show. Watch that acrobatic armdrag she does. She does the acrobatics, lands, then does the armdrag. It’s cool that she can do it at all, but she’s putting A and B together without knowing there’s an entire rest of an alphabet.
2. This was barely about Alexa and Sasha anyway. Charlotte and Summer Rae start bickering at ringside and the camera just sits on them, ignoring the match in case Summer loses her mind again and drops “twat” on a WWE Network show. They shove each other and condescendingly swat at the other’s hair, and at some point Bliss does a bad O’Connor Roll for a victory even SASHA doesn’t care about.
That Romero Special was awfully nice, though.
Worst: Two Insufferable People Have A Conversation
“Where do you want to eat?”
“I don’t know. I don’t care.”
“Okay, what about Olive Garden.”
“Ugh, I don’t want Olive Garden.”
“You said you didn’t care.”
“Yeah but I don’t want Olive Garden.”
“If you don’t want to eat where I pick why don’t you just pick.”
“I don’t care, just pick something.”
EXCEPT ABOUT WRESTLING.
Best: Captain Comic’s Alter Ego
Remember Adam Rose’s Rosebud ‘Captain Comic?’ Sure you do, he’s the luchador super hero guy who ran afoul of Camacho last month. Captain Comic was played by Jody Kristofferson, son of Kris Kristofferson. If you don’t know KRIS Kristofferson, he’s been a legit music movie star for about 40 years. Dude worked with Sam Peckinpah and Martin Scorsese and has been in more than one movie about a handicapped dolphin. Anyway, he has a kid and that kid’s a wrestler employed by WWE, and the three things they’ve found for him to do on WWE TV so far are:
– Removing the “Kristofferson” from his name and getting a horrible formula NXT name (“Garrett Dylan”)
– Dressing up like a super hero to participate in a rolling rave party
– Wear draws with a cartoon warthog on the ass and lose to Mojo Rawley
Here’s a free idea, WWE: tag him with Wesley Blake and call them ‘Heaven’s Gate.’
Best: The Vaudevillains
Quick show of hands, who here reads the column and immediately thought BRANDON’S GONNA LOVE THAT when the Vaudevillains showed up? Because seriously, I think they’re just creating absurd, hopeless gimmicks for my enjoyment now. HOLY SHIT THE VAUDEVILLAINS, YOU GUYS, YOU WERE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. I don’t know if I can take a week where Stardust AND these guys debuted.
There’s so much to love. The nWo entrance. The old-timey megaphone cone with a MICROPHONE jammed into the end of it. That entrance theme, which people are already clapping to. Simon Gotch, who has somehow made an entire wrestling character out of “I’m gonna do hindu squats when you aren’t expecting me to.” I love them with my entire heart. In fact, the only negative I can think of (besides how people who aren’t me will react to them) is how the announce team can’t even let a tag team make it through three minutes of existence without yammering on about whether or not they’ve got a chance to defeat The Ascension.
Two quick notes on the “local talent” they beat:
1. Somebody yanked the backpacker/Michael Bay Ninja Turtle gimmick away from Angelo Dawkins and reverted him back to “regular guy.” Whoever did that deserves a raise and maybe a plaque.
2. Travis Tyler is still not wearing a cup, and I am still looking at too many aspects of that guy’s balls.
Best: ENZO AMORE TEASE
YES. GIVE HIM BACK TO ME.
Best: Colin Cassady Blows Devin Taylor’s Mind
See this picture?
That’s the ENTIRE MATCH. This has to be one of the most disappointing things I’ve seen on NXT in a long time.
A Tyler Breeze vs. Kalisto match should be awesome, right? When I saw the graphic announcing it I was like, “oh man, that’s gonna rule. It’s gonna be like Tyler Breeze vs. Sami Zayn but lucha libre flavored, and both guys are gonna look great and be huge stars.” Instead of Breeze/Zayn, I got … I don’t even know what I got. An especially bad Randy Orton/Rey Mysterio match? When Kalisto got in offense it looked good, but he got in barely any of it, and everything in between was Breeze locking on his most bland resthold. Even the Breeze-loving, forgiving NXT crowd was chanting “HEAD-LOCK” and “boring.” It was AWFUL.
The offense that was there didn’t make any sense. Breeze has been in control for like 8 minutes, right? Kalisto hits a springboard crossbody and they’re both down for a count of 9. Do what? When has a crossbody EVER knocked a guy out? The finish played out like it was supposed to be a memorable moment, too, but I think it’d be in everyone’s best interest to forget this ever happened.
Worst: Curse Your Sudden But Inevitable Betrayal
So, uh, in case you didn’t see it coming, the first-ever pairing of Sami Zayn with GUY WHO IS MAD ABOUT EVERYTHING Tyson Kidd ends with Tyson walking out on him and leaving him alone, and it accomplished two things:
1. It set up a Sami Zayn vs. Tyson Kidd match, which we could’ve just had, and
2. It makes an already losing-too-often Sami Zayn look like Phillip Gooljar as he gets his helpless ass handed to him by The Ascension
That’s it. I feel like this could’ve been cool if Zayn had put up a real fight, but NXT is the land where most stuff makes sense, so the Ascension just picked him apart and beat him clean with their finish. You know, because they’re too guys. Also, because Sami Zayn doesn’t win wrestling matches!
I hope the payoff here is that Nattie hates independent wrestling but is afraid of confrontation, so she’s been faking this spatty marriage stuff with Tyson as an excuse to get him into matches with Name indie guys so he can make them sad. “Ha ha! He didn’t share your hand, Pac! That’s BAD LOCKER ROOM ETIQUETTE! Ho ho, he turned on you, El Generico! You don’t have what it takes to wrestle in the big leagues! NOW LISTEN TO MY IDEA ABOUT CM PUNK RETURNING AND JOINING THE SHIELD.”